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Delta communities brace for more rain

With more than 1,300 miles of levees in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, residents are being cautious as more rain moves in and snow melts.

ISLETON, Calif. — Surrounded by more than 1,300 miles of levees that make up the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, Craig Watson, an employee at Isleton's Vieria's Resort, spent Friday morning preparing for the incoming weekend storms

"We never know how much water is going to come into the system from Folsom because we have the north fork, middle fork and south fork running in and Folsom is relatively high," said Watson. "With the snowmelt, we've had at 7,000 feet, we just want to make sure everyone on this island is protected."

The resort consists of a boat launch, boat slips, a small market, a restaurant and a mobile home community that Watson has called home for seven years.

"We came close to [going underwater] in 2017, but we survived it when a lot of places in California didn't," said Watson as clouds covered the sky above the Sacramento County resort Friday morning. "Even after New Year's when there was a lot of flooding going on in Santa Cruz, Capitola, Acampo and everywhere else, we survived it just fine. Kind of a big family down there making sure everything worked fine."

Watson says that once waters from the rising Sacramento River start to spill over its usual banks, a metal floodgate reinforced by sandbags should keep the area clear. He adds if water were to break the gate and flood, the island can quickly turn into a dangerous "soup bowl" that would take more than a month to pump out.

"We have our gates up on the ramp which is actually the lowest part of the island," said Watson. "I think we're in really good shape, It's just a little dicey with a possible atmospheric river coming in on Monday and Tuesday so we just like to stay ahead of the game so we don't have to hustle at the very end."

Meanwhile, 14 miles down the road at Walnut Grove's New Hope Landing RV Park and Marina, workers have already prepared for the worst. 

A low-lying, riverside lot that is typically filled with RVs and mobile homes was relocated in recent days in anticipation of flooding along the Mokeulmne River.

The boat slips at New Hope Landing were closed Friday.

With more rain on the way, Watson says he hopes his neighbors heed caution from officials and prepare just in case.

"Keep an eye on the weather, be prepared and have all your medication ready to go in case you have to evacuate and whatever necessities you need," said Watson. "We're just waiting for April to show up, then summer to show up and then wait for next year."

Watch more from ABC10: The Floating Highway | Bartell's Backroads

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